Urban Playgrounds – Grounding Research

12:33 AM in General by tao deng

Introduction of Grounding Research

This blog is included two parts,  the Paper research and user research. I m focusing on the User research more than paper research, I think i can gain more current and practicality result from my observation and interviews.

Paper Research

Research paper.


I found a related article from internet about the urban spaces and screens. The article is called ‘Urban Screens Reader [1]‘ which is focused on how people use urban screens, what people design on urban screens. There are different topics in this book, i going to select on of the topic to introduce the Urban Screens.


The reason why I choose this topic because this case study describes how people work and develop the urban screen project in history and find out the answer.

This Urban Screens project was started in Amsterdam In 2005 with the conference ‘ Discovering the Potential if Outdoor Screens for Urban Society’. The main purpose of this project was to study how the large digital screens in public space as a tool to influence consumer behaviour through advertising and display cultural and artistic content. This essay is ‘examining the potential of contemporary interactive media art projects employing urban screens in generating meaningful individual engagement and agency that informs a change in consciousness and behaviour in relation to public spaces.’ – from essay

hGere is an example of the iteration movie – the Body Movies which was a fixed portrait gains a limited mobility space in Urber Screen. The image inside the umber screen is to react the movements of the disembodied shadow,  the interaction with other shadows to interaction with the video – portraits. from this research, Lozano Hemmer get a result

- ‘People who are participating are in fact reflecting. People are not innocent when they activate interactive works in a public space, and this already constitutes a certain ground for reflection. People are participating in these sort of interactive operations with a lot of knowledge and awareness. ‘

This is the one of the example give one of the result. this is a good book to read to know more about the urban screen history and Urban Screen design concept .



User Research

My main is on Energy Australia GrId  Gallery. The Energy Australia Grid Gallery is located at conner the Sussex st and Erskine st.  We visited the Grid Gallery last Friday. We stayed there for about half hours. We learned how the Grid Gallery working from the Officer of the Energy Australia. She show the main device of the Grid Gallery to us and the main control system room and computer to us. unfortunately。 the Grid Gallery has been broken and we couldn’t see any animation and artwork on the screen. However, i think this is not enough information for me to complete this research assignment, i should get more data on how people feel  the Grid Gallery and what they expect to see from the screen. I went to Grid Gallery again at 5: 00 pm this Thursday to observe people in the this area and tried to interview some people and ask them how they feel this big screen.


I spent 2 hours to observed people who walked past to the Grid Gallery and use mollie to took some video to record what people did in front of the Grid Gallery. I also interview two people in the front of the screen, I got some interesting result for my questions.


My interview questions are:

Where are you working?

Have you seen this screen displayed animation before?

Are you interested on watching animation and artwork on the screen?

would you like spend long time on watching animation on the screen?

what are you focusing on this screen?

Do you want to see interaction animation on the screen by using mobile devices like iphone.

I can’t ask them too many question, because most people in that period rush and busy.


On site Observation

location: EnergyAustralia Grid Gallery  screen

Observed Time : 5:00pm – 7:00pm

night screen

Summary of Findings from observation:


The Grid Gallery Screen was broken, It wasn’t working when i went to there, 7 April 5:00 PM

People walking past the screen and doesn’t look at the screen.

Some people stop at the front of the screen for talking on phone, wait for traffic light.

The Screen has been igorned and nobody see it.


Observation Video Record

I have uploaded my observation video which is about 1 minute long to Youtube.



Contextual Inquiry

brief Description of the interviewee:



age: 43 years old

gender :Male:

Working place : the building in the front of the Grid Gallery

Reason for chosen: work close to the Grid Gallery should know lots of things about this screen.



age: 56 years old

gender : male

working place: Sydney CBD

Reason for chosen: random select people who walk past the screen




Summary Findings:

It is hard to select people to ask them question, I think 5-6 pm is a period for most people just finish working and walk to train station or bus stop to catch public transport. They don’t spend time on watching screen even they just spend 5 minutes to answer my question.  James and Bill are  very kind people to answer my interview.

However i got very disappoint  result from them. when i ask them, have you seen this screen displayed animation before? Their answers are  no, they can’t believe those glasses are screens. i think because the screen have stopped work for a long time. James keep saying he only know the screens at the left side of the Grid Gallery building which are four small screen for displaying Opera House photos. But they are still interested on the screens if Grid Gallery could be fixed  can work again in the future. He said that this screen isn’t attractive much and the  screen would be attractive to people after 8 pm, because people would be rush and busy after 8 and they will spend time to watch on the screen.

Bill said he would like to see some cool art work on the screen that would interesting and exciting thing for people walk around the screen , especially some interaction animation. I told him i was designing a new animation for assignment and would be display on Grid Gallery many month later and I would design to make that animation can interact with audience. He said he was interested on what i designed plan and happy to see some creative and special animation, for example, some shape objects or lines is changing it’s  shape and colour by using iphone or other iterative devices like what he seen on the video from internet.


[1] Urban Screen Reader by  Scoot Mcquire, Meredith Martin and Sabine Niederer http://www.networkcultures.org/_uploads/US_layout_01022010.pdf

[2] Google map search result – Sussex st and Erskine st